The day before, the kids went around to most of the houses we had invited and reminded them about it and a bunch of people said they were coming! Yay!
When we were setting up, it was cold, but not frigid, and there was (miracle of miracles in Kansas) NO. WIND! Thank you, God!
Trying to make things cheery in the dark
Philip was a champ and got roaring fires going in our fire pit and chimenea so there were a couple spots to gather around.
Our kids waiting for people to arrive
The hot chocolate was the most popular thing - I feel like I spent the entire evening making cups of it and topping them with whipped cream and marshmallows. =)
Some of our very first guests
(Jonathan, Kelly and Kathy)
Not a great shot of the food table
(One neighbor brought over a huge platter of cookies and my Tanzanian friend, Jackie made some delicious samosas!)
(Jonathan, Tino, Anne, Kelly, Kathy and Allison)
..and more =)
(Alexis, Aiden, Cash and Joel in the background)
Jackie and I
Riah getting the s'mores started
Love this girl!
I got to introduce my friends Sara and Jackie for the first time ever! (They each live two houses over from us on either side)
Sara's sweet new puppy, Ruby =)
We ended up having sixteen people in all. Most of them were kids, but I did meet the mom of some of the kids for the first time, and several neighbors sent gifts. All in all we thought it was a great success and plan to do it every year! (The driveway was a sticky mess of hot chocolate and marshmallows the next day, but oh well...) :)
In other random news, I did family photos for the Pennys last week. We had been trying for Months to nail down a time and life kept getting in the way. Then it was too cold or too windy... or both. Well, they finally just decided to go for it on the 4th, despite there being 22 mph winds and me saying it was a TERRIBLE idea!!
To give you an idea of the wind... this was taken right after we all got out of the van... and oh, did I mention they wanted the photos done in a field??
However, we soon discovered that a hay bale makes quite a good wind block and were able to get some great shots anyway... it was literally a miracle. Despite it being freezing cold, everyone (even the babies) did an Amazing job!!
Grace and Justice
With Jade, Treyson and Eden
..and finally Devin and Melissa
(I LOVE this one!)
Melissa did a great job with their outfits =)
Haha! Super impressed with this one!
We adore this family and I love that they were gutsy enough to pull this off, because I certainly wasn't...and it worked beautifully!